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HNITON: Overgrown verges to be cut

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Overgrown grass verges in Honiton will be cut by the end of this week, Devon County Council has confirmed. Cutbacks have meant the county council has reduced the frequency of grass cuts across Devon, and the latest scheduled work – one of four planned cuts this year – was delayed further by “wet weather”. Residents have expressed their concern about the length of grass on verges in the town, particularly along the bank at the Church Hill roundabout where the view of approaching traffic has become obscured. But a council spokesperson has now confirmed that work in Honiton is scheduled to be completed by the end of the week. Explaining the county council’s grass-cutting policy, the spokesperson added: “Devon County Council funds four cuts a year on verges in towns and villages, but the latest cut has been slightly delayed due to recent wet weather. “The work is undertaken by contractors, or district, parish and town councils, depending on local arrangements. “Two or three programmed cuts are carried out a year on the rural priority network, which serves communities with over 100 people. “On minor rural roads, a single cut of visibility areas is scheduled. However, additional cutting of visibility areas such as junctions, lay-bys and the inside of bends is undertaken as needed. Verges on roads on the priority network are cut to a width of one metre from the road side. “A full width verge cut is undertaken every third year on all routes to control the excessive growth of brushwood, scrub and harmful weeds.” Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “Growth of vegetation on highway verges is controlled for safety and environmental reasons, but the pressures on budgets means that grass is not cut as frequently as it used to be. “Our rural verge grass cutting policy encourages a varied habitat across the verge with smaller wild flowers in the cut strip and the remaining uncut area permitting the growth of taller species that encourage wildflowers, insects, butterflies, birds and small mammals.”

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